Keeping chickens is not just popular in Britain – it is a hugely popular hobby in many other countries too. Jeremy Hobson reports
Did you know that there is an annual International Respect for Chickens Day? Held in early May each year, it shows that there is an ever-increasing interest in chickens in many corners of the globe, with back garden henkeeping a key element of this. This is particularly the case in Europe from where many breeds originated.
More and more British chicken fanciers are now travelling to European poultry shows, with Germany a popular destination, says Chris Parker, vice-chairman and past president of the Poultry Club of Great Britain. UK poultry expert and Your Chickens contributor Terry Beebe says: “The highest concentration of poultry keepers/fanciers is in Holland and Germany, with phenomenal interest in Holland.”
Here are some of the other countries where the hobby is thriving: organisation, and about half exhibit their poultry. Between 80,000 and 100,000 families keep chickens as a small-scale hobby in their gardens, says Tanja. “An increasing number of people living in apartments also get together and keep chickens in their community. Over the last couple of years, the interest in keeping hens has exploded and groups on Facebook continually pop up, and many are joining each day.”
Amongst the larger breeds, the Danish national breed (Danske Landhøn) is there, but also the Australorp, Sussex, Orpington, Marans and Araucana, says Tanja. Given my love of the breed, I was delighted to learn that the bantam Wyandottes has a good following, particularly in the
ABOVE: Chickens - or their symbols - are all pervasive in across the world